The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is one of the most critically-acclaimed games that has ever hit the market. The new PS5 version, which will reportedly come out on September 6th, looks to be a serious upgrade for this beloved title.
The “is skyrim anniversary edition worth it reddit” is a game that has been around for over 10 years. The new version of the game is called Skyrim Anniversary Edition and was released on PS5.
Is it really ten years since Skyrim: Anniversary Edition was released? (pic: Bethesda)
The Elder Scrolls 5 beats GTA 5 to the punch by being released three generations in a row at full price – but is Skyrim still worth it?
Role-playing games used to be limited to pen and paper, depending on verbal representations of a mostly ethereal fantasy world. Their chance encounters and conflicts were determined by the roll of arcane sets of dice, which were brought to life entirely in the thoughts of the participants. The ability to have such an adventure without having reams of paper or encyclopaedic instruction volumes was immediately alluring in the early days of video gaming.
It was also good to see what was going on instead of having to rely on your imagination. When you can hear a towering, fire-breathing dragon assault you, it’s a more visceral experience than if you just read about it, and the Elder Scrolls series was based on the premise of letting players feel the entire richness and complexity of life in a fantasy world.
The franchise’s first four games were published between 1994 and 2006, with Skyrim, the most important installment, arriving in 2011. Aside from the MMO spin-off The Elder Scrolls Online, Bethesda has only updated and re-released Skyrim since then, with The Elder Scrolls 6 remaining a teaser trailer. Most gamers will be asking themselves, “How much is too much?”
Returning to Skyrim after a decade of re-releases is a familiar experience; the game’s introduction, ‘Good, you’re finally awake,’ has long since devolved into meme fodder, much like the rest of the game. The arrow to the knee, ‘You never should have come here,’ and other oft-repeated words shouted by town guards and other people amid its frozen wastes have made it laughable, and the Anniversary Edition just adds to that.
The lack of load times on next-generation consoles is the most significant change. It’s nice to be able to wander without being interrupted, but the differences are largely visually — a clearer, more defined environment that makes itself known straight away. Gone are the days of stumbling about seeking for a squiggly chain to yank, or walking on a squiggly floor pad and causing a spiked gate to swing into your face. Everything is in focus now, so such blunders are totally your fault rather than the product of a hazy interface.
Skyrim’s panoramas have a revitalized beauty, with richer colors and greater draw distances, yet it lacks the nuance and motion recorded realism of more contemporary games. Spending time in its apparently limitless vistas is still a unique experience, but it has been tempered by a decade of development. Skyrim is a place that has escaped the passage of time.
Its verbal contacts are the clearest example of this. Although characters’ lips move when they speak, voice acting and performance capture have progressed a long way in the last ten years, and Skyrim’s human features were never very excellent to begin with. It holds together, but the grandeur is sometimes lost as you cringe at the low-tech show.
When speaking to Whiterun’s jarl, for example, his court wizard and a guard inadvertently initiate their own long monologues, blatantly talking over one another and making it almost hard to discern what each of them is saying. While not fatal, it’s a problem that’s been brought up so many times that you wonder how a remaster running on a PlayStation 5 can have the same issues as the PlayStation 3.
Characters continue to walk like C-3PO, with their bottom parts shuffling alongside their torsos as if merely tangentially linked. You’re tempted to stop and feed the wolves rather than incinerate them with a fireball since they’re so little and emaciated. Using a joypad to navigate menus is a pain, and you’ll spend just as much time wallowing in them as you will playing the game. More so if you play in the game’s new survival mode, which requires you to carry a lot less, disables rapid movement, and compels you to eat, sleep, and remain warm in order to keep your character alive.
Combat is as clumsy as ever, with melee requiring nothing more than blindly hammering the trigger until your stamina is depleted, then retiring for a time or replenishing your stamina with food and potions before restarting the pummeling. Although magic and archery are more skill-based, most players will use a mix of them and will undoubtedly have to endure more than their fair share of mindless slugfests before the game’s end.
There is some fresh stuff strewn around. The Anniversary Edition includes user-generated material from the Creation Club in addition to the three original DLC expansions – Dawnguard, Hearthfire, and Dragonborn. You may become a fantasy fisherman whenever you see a spot of water if you find the Riften Fishery, and the new Saints and Seducers quest line is started when you stumble across a randomly spawning Khajit caravan. You may also use modifications to solve 60fps, add horse armour, change creatures and vegetation, and add new destinations, albeit many of these must be bought separately with real money.
The remainder just expand your inventory of materials and potions, as well as additional spells, weapons, and armour. There’s a lot to find in terms of volume, and while this does mean there are new accessories to uncover, none of them make much of a difference to the game’s structure or substance, seeming more like minor shoring up around the edges.
Is the opportunity to go fishing in Skyrim Anniversary Edition really worth purchasing the game again? (Photo courtesy of Bethesda)
And there is the crux of the issue with the Anniversary Edition of Skyrim. As a stand-alone game, it costs roughly £50. Owners of the Special Edition can pay £15.99 to access the Anniversary content, and if you own a PlayStation 5 or Xbox Series X/S, the next-gen upgrade is free once you’ve purchased the rest of the game, but in terms of value for money, you’re getting a lightly spruced-up decade old game with a sprinkling of user generated content that’s still fundamentally the same game we’ve all been buying since the 2010s.
There’s still time to have a good time. Setting off into the vast blue yonder to seek your fortune and wreak some good old Dragonborn justice on the people you encounter remains tempting, even if it’s hard not to feel like you’re simply looking for triggers for dusty old rose-tinted memories at this point. However, the game looks better, even if it isn’t actually excellent.
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But it’s the cynicism that irritates me the most. It seems like a smack in the face to charge full money for a game that isn’t a remake but is essentially the same game with all of its Xbox 360 period faults and technical flaws. It’s a cash cow, plain and simple, and Bethesda can’t be bothered to hide it.
Provided you’re new to gaming or somehow missed the first and subsequent releases of Skyrim, there’s enough amusement here to keep you entertained for hundreds of hours if you have the correct temperament. For the rest of us, this is the most basic of retreads on a game that you could play in your sleep.
Summary of The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim Anniversary Edition
In a nutshell, Skyrim is returning with a fresh graphics overhaul and more user-generated content, but even lovers of brash commercial cynicism will find their brows discreetly rising for the sky at full price.
Pros: There are plenty of higher-resolution images, greater draw distances, and more colorful perspectives to choose from. The game’s feeling of size and steady growth may be becoming a little crusty, but it’s still a lot of fun.
Cons: It’s a re-release of a ten-year-old game that’s previously been released on almost every format imaginable, with the same faults and issues. It’s really pricey, and there’s so little additional material that you’d have a hard time finding it without reading a guide.
7 out of 10
PlayStation 5 (reviewed), Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X/S, and PC are the formats available. Price: £47.99 or £15.99 for Skyrim Special Edition owners. Bethesda Publishing Bethesda Game Studios is the studio behind the game. Date of Release: November 11th, 2021 Age Rating: 18
Nick Gillett contributed to this article.
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MORE: Bethesda says The Elder Scrolls 6 is still in the ‘design phase.’
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MORE: Bethesda acknowledges there won’t be any Elder Scrolls 6 news for ‘years.’
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The “skyrim anniversary edition vs special edition” is a game that has been remastered by Bethesda. The game was released for the PS4, Xbox One, and PC. The game was released on October 28th, 2018.
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